Sunday 21 December 2014

Credit tops Irish Farmers Association banks agenda

Declan O'Brien

Published 16/07/2014 | 02:30

IFA president Eddie Downey. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke.
IFA president Eddie Downey. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke.

Improving the flow of credit to farmers will be top of the agenda for a series of meetings between the IFA and the banks.

IFA president Eddie Downey, who led the IFA delegation in the talks, said freeing up credit for farmers this autumn remained a "priority issue" for the farm organisation.

He said this was particularly the case for beef and tillage farmers "who had a very difficult year".

Mr Downey said he would also be following up on the issue of the fair treatment of farmers who were in financial difficulty, but whom have an underlying viable enterprise.

"The banks must work with these customers to find a long-term sustainable solution that will work for all parties," Mr Downey said.

Borrowing

IFA Farm Business Chairman Tom Doyle said the Government's proposal to support lower-cost borrowing for small businesses and farmers through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland was a positive move and must be implemented promptly.

Meanwhile, ICMSA president John Comer described the tax exemption on the forced sale of Single Farm Payment entitlements in 2014, which was introduced by the Government earlier this year, as both a necessary measure and fully justifiable.

Mr Comer said the decision was a direct result of rules introduced by the EU Commission that were totally unforeseen from a farmer and landowner perspective.

He added that the Government showed due recognition to the threat this decision posed to land mobility, an issue rightly identified as a key barrier to the achievement of the Food Harvest 2020 targets.

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